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R.U.F.F. boys stay busy during summer

R.U.F.F. boys visited Atlanta and Stone Mountain during their summer activities. (CONTRIBUTED)
R.U.F.F. boys visited Atlanta and Stone Mountain during their summer activities. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Boys in R.U.F.F. (Ready yoUrself For the Future) weren’t lazy during their summer break from the classroom.

“The best aspect of our R.U.F.F. program is that it’s very spontaneous,” Anthony Graham said. “We might get a phone call on a Friday requesting our young men to be somewhere on Saturday.” Graham founded and sponsors RUFF and teaches math at Discovery Middle School.

R.U.F.F. engenders leadership and lends support to boys in Madison City Schools. After organizing at Heritage Elementary School, groups have expanded across town.

During summer, R.U.F.F. has “extremely fun activities that allow the boys to work on skills like teamwork, communication and leadership,” Graham said. The boys are eager to meet during summer break.

On July 8-12, 32 young men and 11 chaperones visited Atlanta. “We camped for two days, went to Stone Mountain activity park and held leadership training sessions with focus on the ‘3 A’s’ — Admit, Accept, Affect,” Graham said. Sen. Bill Holtzclaw sponsored the trip.

To learn about ‘soft skills,’ 20 boys visited Chick-Fil-A, Madison Hospital and Raytheon on Aug. 7 for a day’s training about “what employers look for in their applicants,” he said. Then on Aug. 10, RUFF members played paintball at Phoenix in Athens and mixed lots of fun with teamwork and communication.

“Every event we hold has some type of leadership message but they are fun as well,” Graham said.

For R.U.F.F. Parent Night on Aug. 30, any parent of a student in grades 5-12 is welcome to attend and learn about the program. This event will be held at Discovery Middle School from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.

During fall semester, R.U.F.F. will hold its third annual leadership retreat at Camp Toknohim in Pisgah on Sept. 27-29. The theme is “Lean On Me!” The discussions will emphasize the importance of trusting.

“Our goal this year is to open R.U.F.F. groups in all Madison City schools,” Graham said.

For more information, email to agraham@madisoncity.k12.al.us or visit ruffleadership.webs.com or Facebook/Ready yourself For the Future.

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